MOSCOW, October 17 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia is not seeking the status of superpower, but it will defend its interests “to the utmost”, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.
He warned against a disparaging attitude “to anyone, including small states”.
“A disparaging attitude to, say, Andorra, or any other small country would be unacceptable to us. I have been practicing martial arts all my life and I have a certain philosophy with regard to my partner: no matter what he is, you must treat him respectfully,” Putin said in an interview with three federal television channels on Monday, October 17.
“If you think that everyone around you is small fish that can be disregarded, you can miss some very sensitive blows,” he cautioned.
As an example he named Chine that was “in shambles” only recently, but now it is turning into one of the most dynamically developing countries.
“Remember the early 1990s when many in Europe –and I mean many – treated Russia disparagingly, but many wise and thinking people and politicians who could look into the future always showed their respect to us,” Putin said.
“As for those who are trying to push Russia out of the way, they are wrong. Russia is not a country that can be pushed out of the way. On the other hand, we are not forcing our way through. If someone does not want to see us somewhere, that’s fine,” the prime minister said.
“The main task is to ensure the development of our own country and improve the quality of life. And then, acting on this basis, we can create a sustainable political system, an efficient economy, ensure our defence capability and gain such weight and status that they will invite us but we may not want to go there,” he said.
Russia “should always feel confident in foreign policy and should always understand where its national interests are”.
“It would be a big mistake to try to put on an air of superpower and dictate its demand to anyone, if this does not concern us. But if it does concern us, we will defend everything that interests us and everything that falls within the sphere of our interests to the outmost. But we are not going to pretend to be a world policeman,” Putin said.